Gambling on a Positive Economic Impact
August 09, 2012
WORCESTER, MASS. – It is a safe bet that hosting the 2012 USRowing Masters National Championships will work out in favor of Worcester, Mass.
As a serious competitor, Merrimac River Rowing Association rower, Erin Lallemand, estimated her yearly cost for rowing to be $3,000.
Willing to spend thousands of dollars yearly to pursue their passion, masters rowers are not likely to skimp at the biggest national sprint event of the year.
That makes the championships a potential jackpot for Worcester.
Worcester expects that hosting competitors over four days will result in an economic impact that exceeds other regattas hosted here throughout the year.
“There will be a much bigger economic impact than when we hosted the USRowing Northeast (Junior District Championships) in the spring,” said Bob Murdock of Destination Worcester. “That generated much more drive traffic, but it was two to four people to a room and people looking for a McDonalds. Whereas at masters nationals, it’s individuals and their families – people willing to spend some money.”
Destination Worcester, an organization that links local hospitality and businesses to outside visitors, estimates that $1.44 million will be generated by the championships.
Factoring into the final figure are the cost of hotel rooms, means of transportation, food and spending money for more than 2,000 athletes.
Located just up the hill from the racecourse, the Beechwood Hotel is one business already reaping the benefits of having so many individuals visiting.
“I think the first hotel that sold out for this event was the Beechwood, which is our highest-end hotel,” said Murdock. “When they come in, adults want to stay in their own rooms and seek a more upscale restaurant.”
According to Marie Flavin, assistant director of sales at the Beechwood, the hotel is sold out for the entire week with more than half of the rooms, 38 of 78, inhabited by competitors.
Hotels may see positive additions to their bottom line, but it is the restaurants that have the most to gain from an event like this.
“The downturn in the economy didn’t affect us as much as towns like Boston. We tended to come through the downturn in the economy fairly well on the hotel side. But people were definitely spending less money, so having an event like this definitely helps the restaurants,” said Murdock. “It just so happens the event is taking place during our restaurant week, so there are deals already in place at several of the restaurants.”
As the regatta co-host, Quinsigamond Rowing Association has high aspirations to integrate the rowers with the community of Worcester. As a QRA rower and part of the local organizing committee, Karen Duffy helped organize two events at local establishments this week.
“The city is very supportive of the local rowing community, and we wanted to show businesses that appreciate that support,” said Duffy.
Last night was the first of two events to connect the visiting rowers with local business. “Ready, Row, Party!” outside of Viva Bene Restaurant in downtown Worcester featured live music and food for purchase.
Tonight, a carb-loading event will bring business to Buca di Beppo Italian restaurant, located alongside the racecourse.
For a complete race schedule, updates on the regatta and links to results (as available), visit http://www.usrowing.org/Events/MastersNationals.aspx.
Finals can be viewed live each day beginning Thursday, August 9, at http://www.ustream.tv/usrowing.
Press coverage of the event will be available at http://www.usrowing.org/Pressbox/Inteventcoverage/12MasterNationalsCoverage.aspx.
The 2012 USRowing Masters National Championships is the first of two masters’ championship regattas USRowing will host over the next two months. The first-ever USRowing Masters National Head Race Championship will be held September 16 on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio. Currently home to the Head of the Cuyahoga, the 4,800-meter course involves strategy, curves, and fun. In addition to five major river turns (including an S-bend), gorgeous views of the Cleveland skyline are situated throughout the course. To register, visit www.regattacentral.com.
USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States. USRowing’s official suppliers include Boathouse Sports, Vespoli, WinTech, Filippi, Croker Oars, Rudy Project, Concept2, Nielsen Kellerman, PowerHTV and Ludus Tours. USRowing also receives generous support from the National Rowing Foundation and its corporate sponsors and partners ANXeBusiness Corp, Voxer, EZ Dock, EMCVenues and The Perfect SNAQUE. For more information, visit www.usrowing.org. USRowing has created The Row to London to engage sponsors leading up to the 2012 Olympic Games, with proceeds going to help ensure the U.S. team’s success. Opportunities also exist to partner with America Rows – supporting diversity initiatives and adaptive programs. For more information, please contact Beth Kohl at firstname.lastname@example.org.